Thinking of becoming a lawyer, but worried about the rising costs of a law school education? The good news is that free law school options do still exist. Whether you find a school that is tuition-free or one that is considered to be on the cheapest law school list, you can obtain a quality education without worrying about going into debt.
Here, we will share a few free and cheap law school options, as well as how you can help to offset the costs of law school in general.
Law School Requirements and Average Costs
Depending where you choose to study, the cost of law school will vary. As a rule of thumb, private institutions tend to cost more than public alternatives. In America, the estimated cost of private law school is $49,548 in tuition fees. For public schools, the average is $28,264 for residents of the state and $41,726 for out-of-state students.
On the other hand, some countries are known for having the cheapest law school costs. To exemplify, you can expect to pay the following to attend law school in these countries:
- France: Less than 500 euros/year
- Italy: Less than 2,000 euros/year
- Switzerland: Less than 1,500 euros/year
- Norse countries: no tuition-fees
Free Law School Options
Now, let’s get down to business. Here are some free law school options in different locations around the world.
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich is a public university that is Germany’s sixth oldest educational institute that’s still in operation. Founded in 1472, Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) is known for research and boasts programs like: humanities, law, economics, medicine, natural sciences, and more. The school is tuition-free, but students can expect to pay fees. For both local and international students, the fees typically amount to $1,430.
The Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen offers students from around the world the option to take courses in English. However, only students with a Norwegian personal identification number can apply to the school. For most of the classes, students must have fulfilled three years of higher education. Like many institutions in Norway, the University of Bergen does not charge tuition fees to domestic or international students. As a requirement during enrollment, students must take part in the student welfare organization.
Located in Sweden, Lund University is one of northern Europe’s oldest public universities. Additional campuses are located in Ljungbyhed, Malmo, and Helsingborg. It’s of note that tuition is free at Lund University only for students who are from the European Union or the European Economic Area (i.e. Switzerland). For foreign students, there are tuition fees associated. The school has two international Master’s programs in Law, including: European Business Law and International Human Rights Law.
There are other tuition-free universities available for law school. This abbreviated list is geared towards getting your research started and providing you with some of the most notable options.
Cheapest Law School Options
Besides free law school, you can attend law schools that are relatively cheaper than the norm. These include:
The University of Montana showcases the Alexander Blewett III School of Law where third-year students get to take part in experience-based learning in clinics. These clinics let students practice what they learn during their first two years of law school. More than 92% of graduates from this law school pass the bar on their first try. Tuition is estimated to be $470.46 per credit hour.
The University of North Dakota School of Law pairs together a relatively affordable price with quality education. The cost of tuition is estimated to be $461.15 per credit hour and the school has an acceptance rate of 64%. According to the school’s website, “the UND School of Law has the lowest cost of attendance for any ranked law school in the country.”
The University of Wyoming School of Law costs about $483 per credit unit and is known for its innovative skills training. Students benefit from small class sizes and simulation courses that prepare students to enter the field of law.
Tips for Affording Law School
Besides attending a tuition-free or cheap law school, there are alternative methods to help afford your law school degree. Try and heed some of these following words of advice to lessen your financial burden of attending law school.
Early decision scholarship programs
For some schools, students who apply for early decision (before the regular admissions deadline closes) may have the opportunity to take advantage of early decision only scholarship programs. For example, the Washington University in St. Louis and Boston University provide this opportunity.
There is always the option to apply for scholarships. Some scholarships are merit-based, whereas others are needs-based. Scholarships provide you with “free money” to attend college, meaning that whatever you get in scholarship money will not have to be paid back (like a loan). Depending on the scholarship you apply for and receive, there may or may not be strings attached.
Do well on LSAT
Most law schools, at least in America, will require your submission of your LSAT scores to apply. If you do better on the LSAT than your peers, you can gain a competitive advantage in receiving scholarships or grants. As such, it’s worth it to do your best on this test so that you can not only gain admission to the best schools, but you can also capitalize on the financial benefits of doing so.
The Bottom Line
Without attending a free law school or an affordable law school, most students can expect to carry debt while earning their law degree. However, you don’t have to become one of these statistics. Instead, you can select your school wisely based on financial expectations and personal preference of how and where you wish to learn.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers earn an average of $126,930 per year in America, and the field is expected to grow at 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is as fast as average. As such, the prospect of becoming a lawyer does include desirable outcomes like solid pay, a promising job outlook, and the potential to help accomplish justice.